An interesting poll this month in the Des Moines Register shows that Democrats and Republicans have very different opinions on the relative importance of the federal deficit versus unemployment and jobs as campaign issues. It might be, however, that the two sides just have different ways of expressing concern over the same issue: our nation’s economic future.
Almost one-quarter of Republicans in the poll of likely Iowa caucus-goers ranked the deficit as the top issue (23 percent). Only 11 percent of Republicans ranked unemployment/jobs as the top issue.
On the Democratic side, the numbers were nearly the reverse with 21 percent of likely caucus-goers ranking jobs as their top priority and 9 percent ranking the deficit first.
Taken together, roughly one-third of likely caucus-goers in both parties ranked these two issues at the top.
The Register poll, though limited to Iowans, suggests that there could be a path to consensus if Democrats and Republicans reject the premise that concern about the deficit implies indifference to unemployment and jobs, and vice versa.
It is possible, and indeed it is perfectly...